“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Townsend in Broadwater County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

Canyon Ferry

Canyon Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 13, 2019
1. Canyon Ferry Marker
Inscription.  Shortly after the discovery of gold in Confederate Gulch, freighters established a road between Helena and Diamond City. The Missouri River was a barrier to travelers until John Oakes established a ferry in Black Rock Canyon in 1865. A small settlement, called Canyon Ferry, flourished at the ferry crossing. Its hotel, saloon, stage station, stable, and dry goods store served travelers and local residents. In 1898, Samuel Hauser's Helena Water and Electrical Power Company built a stone dam at a narrow point in the canyon near Canyon Ferry. A little over a half century later, in July 1949, the Bureau of Reclamation began construction of a massive concrete dam just downstream of the old structure. Since 1954, the dam has produced hydroelectric power and water for irrigation. It backs up a reservoir 25 miles in length with 76 miles of shoreline. Canyon Ferry Reservoir took two years to fill, flooding thousands of acres of farmland and inundating the communities of Canyon Ferry and Canton. Today the reservoir provides water for irrigation and recreation for fishermen, boaters, and other sportsmen.

On September 17, 1947, a Montana Air
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National Guard A-26 aircraft carrying Lieutenant Colonel Willard S. Sperry and Sergeant Charles L. Glover crashed in the Big Belt during an early season snowstorm. Both men served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and Colonel Sperry was the first commander of the Montana Air National Guard.
Erected by Montana Department of Transportation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is September 17, 1947.
Location. 46° 21.386′ N, 111° 32.706′ W. Marker is near Townsend, Montana, in Broadwater County. Marker is on U.S. 287 near Springville Lane, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7439 US, Highway 287, Townsend MT 59644, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills (a few steps from this marker); State Bank of Townsend (approx. 2.8 miles away); Valley Masonic Lodge No. 21 (approx. 2.9 miles away); Crimson Bluffs (approx. 3 miles away); Yorks Islands (approx. 6.7 miles away); Winston (approx. 10 miles away); Lorentz Homestead (approx. 13.6 miles away); Toston Bridge (approx. 13.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Townsend.
Canyon Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 13, 2019
2. Canyon Ferry Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on October 27, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 27, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 627 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 27, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Feb. 28, 2024